How is Your Neighborhood Affected by Cash Bail?



BillyPenn: Jordan Levy - August 11, 2022


A new tool from the nonprofit Philadelphia Bail Fund aims to highlight the patterns that exist in Philly’s cash bail system, furthering public knowledge of how bail works — and how it disproportionately affects underserved communities.


Five city zip codes in North and West Philadelphia accounted for nearly a third of all bail paid last year, according to the tool, which is uses info collected from court records for every person charged in Philly. The majority of residents in those zip codes are people of color, per the tool, and a third or more live below the federal poverty line.


The idea is for people to be able to explore this data first-hand in an online, interactive portal set to launch early next year.


“The goal of the portal is that people have access to the information, but also that people see that this is a reflection of their situations,” Salih Israil, the Philadelphia Bail Fund’s new executive director, told Billy Penn.


PBF is also published a report that identifies the neighborhoods most affected by cash bail and gauges how much residents know or understand about the process. The report and forthcoming data tool are two aspects of the top priority for Israil.


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